Today in Worcester hockey history: March 25

25B

1999 at Saint John 5-4 loss
(SAINT JOHN) Worcester coach Greg Gilbert warned the IceCats to expect some fire from the Saint John Flames. The IceCats promptly went out and tossed some gasoline on those Flames. Just 48 hours after being bombed, 10-2, at home by the Fredericton Canadiens, the Flames charged to a 4-0 lead and withstood a late Worcester rally for an eventual 5-4 victory last night. It was a crippling setback for Worcester, which is fighting for its playoff life in the New England Division. With the setback, the IceCats remain last, two points behind idle New Haven and Springfield, in the race for a postseason berth. Travis Brigley staked the Flames to a 2-0 first-period lead, firing both his shots high on IceCats goaltender Rich Parent. It was the first time this season Brigley has scored two goals in a game. Brigley’s pair had support from rambunctious Allan Egeland, Sean Berens and Jeff Cowan as the Flames supplied all their offense through the first 40 minutes. Former Hartford Wolf Pack defenseman Lee Sorochan made his debut for Saint John and had a pair of assists as the Flames snapped a two-game losing skid. Tyson Nash, Bryan Helmer, Stephane Roy and Bryce Salvador responded for the IceCats. Jean-Sebastien Giguere, yanked in the first period of his last start, was sharper against the IceCats, particularly in the first period when he stopped a dozen shots. Giguere was beaten by Roy and Salvador on third-period power plays as Worcester made it interesting down the stretch. Salvador’s goal came with 1:45 left in the third, but the IceCats were unable to net the equalizer. Worecster outshot the Flames, 12-3, in the third period and 41-32 overall. The hard-luck Flames got a break in the second to forge a 3-0 lead, compliments of Egeland and a fortuitous bounce. Setting up shop behind the Worcester net, Egeland’s slot pass banked off Shayne Toporowski’s skate, flipped up in the air and over Parent, who had no idea where the puck was until he heard the crowd roar. Berens tipped one past Parent for a 4-0 lead after Nash’s 10th goal of the season got the IceCats on the board. However, Cowan regained Saint John’s four-goal cushion on a nice individual effort, charging off the boards and crashing the crease before slipping the puck home. Helmer scored on a slapshot from the blue line in the second to make it 5-2. Roy then cashed in on a power play, scoring 74 seconds into the third to pull the ‘Cats within two. Salvador’s goal came off a broken play in the dying minutes when the puck deflected to him at the point and his shot skipped through Giguere’s legs. Worcester pulled Parent with 63 seconds to play, but didn’t sustain any pressure while pushing for the equalizer.

2000 at Hartford 4-0 loss
(TICKER) Milan Hnilicka turned aside 44 shots to register his fourth shutout of the season as the Hartford Wolf Pack blanked the Worcester Ice Cats, 4-0. Hnilicka had 21 saves in the first period and 16 in the third to improve to 20-10-0. Ken Gernander scored a pair of power-play goals and Brad Smyth added a goal and an assist for Hartford, which has won eight of its last nine decisions (8-1-0). Brent Johnson had his record evened at 22-22-5 after surrendering all four goals for Worcester, which slipped to 3-6-1 vs. the Wolf Pack.

2001 at Saint John 0-0 tie
(TICKER) Dwayne Roloson stopped 35 shots and Martin Brochu made 29 saves as the Worcester IceCats and Saint John Flames skated to a scoreless tie. Roloson, who made 25 of his saves over the first two periods, was credited with his fifth shutout of the season for Worcester, which is 6-2-2 over its last 10 games. Brochu picked up his second shutout of the season for Saint John, which has managed one goal or fewer in three of its four meetings with the IceCats this season.

2005 at Providence 4-1 loss
The Worcester IceCats allowed two first period goals and never made those up in a 4-1 loss to the Providence Bruins. Andy Hilbert gave the Baby-Bs the lead at 2:44 of the opening period, and Tomas Kurka made it 2-0 at 9:34. Colin Hemingway cut the P-Bruins lead in half 1:05 into the middle stanza, with assists going to Aaron MacKenzie and Jon DiSalvatore, but that would be the only time the ‘Cats beat Providence netminder Hannu Toivonen. Patrice Bergeron made it 3-1 with a goal at 13:15 of the third period, and Jay Henderson had the last tally of the game at 15:51. Curtis Sanford made just two saves on the four shots he faced before being replaced by Jason Bacashihua, who made 23 saves.

2011 vs Providence 4-2 loss
(WORSHARKS) Providence played spoiler in Worcester on Friday night as they defeated the Sharks, 4-2, in front of a sellout crowd at the DCU Center. Worcester trails the Whale for the 3rd and final guaranteed playoff spot in the Atlantic Division by six points with 8 games remaining. Benn Ferriero and Patrick Davis scored for the Sharks while Harri Sateri made 20 saves in the losing effort. The first period went back and forth as both teams combined for four goals. Trent Whitfield (15th) would extend his point streak to ten games and got Providence on the board first as he one timed a pass from Kirk MacDonald at 6:07. Worcester tied it up on a goal from Patrick Davis (6th) as he re-directed a point shot from Matt Irwin. Just 0:27 later, the Bruins would again take the lead. Jamie Arniel (20th) finished a 2-on-1 rush as he wristed a shot past Harri Sateri. Benn Ferriero(16th) tied it up late as he rushed down the left side boards and slid the puck five hole past Anton Khudobin. Worcester continued to outshoot the Bruins in the second but couldn’t put one past Anton Khudobin. Trent Whitfield (2nd of game, 16th) put Providence in the lead for the third time as he buried a shot from the left circle to finish a 3-on-2 rush for the Bruins. Worcester trailed 3-2 heading into the third period. Providence pulled away in the third period as the Bruins sealed the victory with a tight defensive period. The Sharks offense was held to the perimeter and couldn’t manufacture many scoring chances. The Bruins put a cap on the win with an empty net goal by Kirk McDonald to put Providence up 4-2. The Sharks record falls to 33-27-4-8 with 78 points. Worcester has 8 games remaining on their 80 game AHL regular season schedule (5 home, 3 away)

2012 at Manchester 5-1 loss
(WORSHARKS) Justin Azevedo scored twice including a shorthanded goal and assisted on two others as the Monarchs frustrated the Sharks with a 5-1 win at the Verizon Wireless Arena. John McCarthy extended his point streak to five game for Worcester (3-3-6) with his team leading 18th goal in the loss. The Sharks had a good flurry in the first few minutes but never really tested Monarchs goaltender Jeff Zatkoff during the first period. Harri Sateri was able to stone leading scorer Justin Azevedo on a rush down the right wing but Azevedo notched his 23rd goal of the season at the 17:22 mark to put Manchester up 1-0. Shots were 11-10 in favor of the Monarchs after 20 minutes. In the second period, Manchester struck again at the 9:23 mark as Brandon Kozun (19th) cleaned up a net mouth scramble to put the Monarchs up 2-0. John McCarthy (18th) answered for the Sharks at 10:57 as he beat Zatkoff high blocker from the right wing to cut the deficit in half. Special teams doomed the Sharks the remainder of the period as David Meckler (9th) tipped in an Azevedo shot on the power play and Azevedo (24th) beat Harri Sateri on a shorthanded breakaway to give the Monarchs a 4-1 lead at the end of 40 minutes. Sharks held a 22-21 edge in shots. With Nick Petrecki in the box the Monarchs extended their lead as Azevedo fed Stefan Legein (13th) in the slot and he fired a one timer past Sateri at 7:52. Manchester tightened up defensively in the 3rd as they allowed the Sharks to put only six shots on goal in the final frame. Worcester’s record falls to 28-26-4-7, with 67pts and currently in 11th place in the Eastern Conference with 11 games remaining.

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